Thursday, October 4, 2012


CADOGAN: Anglicized form of Welsh Cadwgawn, meaning "battle glory."
The Celts are, and were, peoples who speak a Celtic language, in the narrowest definition. There are many people who identify with Celtic cultures because their ancestors, near or distant, were speakers of a Celtic language.
The flag of the Isle of Man shows a triskelion, the Three Legs of Mann emblem, in the centre of a red flag. The three legs are joined at the thigh and bent at the knee. In order to have the toes pointing clockwise on both sides of the flag, a two-sided emblem is used.

The triskelion has its roots in an early Celtic sun symbol that was also used by many other ancient civilizations including the Mycenaeans and the Lycians. The flag is similar to that of Sicily.


Celticization is a term used to describe the spread of ancient Celtic culture, and to a lesser extent, language. It is mainly used to describe the spread of Celtic civilization and the Celtic languages during the antiquity following the various Celtic migrations. The result of Celticization, elements of Celtic origin combined in various forms and degrees with local elements, sometimes fully Celtisized certain ancient tribes.

The Celtic spiral symbolizes eternity and is used abundantly in many Celtic jewelry items today. Just as popular is the Celtic cross, which pre-dates the Christian cross by about two centuries. The Celtic cross is thought to bring greater knowledge, understanding and the fortitude to deal with trials and adversities, as compared to the Christian cross, which is believed to protect the wearer from harm.

The Trinity Symbol is found throughout history and appears in countless cultures as it deals with the power of three combined. The Trinity Symbol also represented the mythological sisters, The Three Fates.

The Celtic Trinity Knot, or the Triquetra, is one of the most common of the Celtic knots. The term Triquetra (Latin), meaning “three-cornered.”

Interpretations agree on a culmination of three parts:-

Christian meaning – the Trinity (the Father, Son and Holy Spirit)

Pagan meaning – Feminine Powers (Mother, Crone and Maiden)

Metaphysical meaning – (Mind, Body and Spirit)

The Trinity knot, takes an individual strand and wraps it into and onto itself, becoming a three-lobed, singular design. The Trinity knot symbolizes the way in which three separate essences are vitally interconnected.
The Latin name Celtus seems to be based on a native Celtic ethnic name. However, the first literary reference to the Celtic people, is by the Greek historian Hecataeus of Miletus in 517 BC; he says that the town of Massilia (Marseille) is near the Celts and also mentions a Celtic town of Nyrex (possibly Noreia in Austria). Herodotus seems to locate the Keltoi at the source of the Danube and/or in Iberia, but the passage is unclear. The English word Celt is modern, attested from 1707 in the writings of Edward Lhuyd whose work, along with that of other late 17th century scholars, brought academic attention to the languages and history of these early inhabitants of Great Britain.

The earliest archaeological culture commonly accepted as Celtic, or rather Proto-Celtic, was the central European Hallstatt culture (c. 800-450 BC), named for the rich grave finds in Hallstatt, Austria. By the later La Tène period (c. 450 BC up to the Roman conquest), this Celtic culture had expanded over a wide range of regions, whether by diffusion or migration: to the British Isles (Insular Celts), the Iberian Peninsula (Celtiberians, Celtici and Gallaeci), much of Central Europe, (Gauls) and following the Gallic invasion of the Balkans in 279 BC as far east as central Anatolia (Galatians).

By mid 1st millennium AD, following the expansion of the Roman Empire and the Great Migrations (Migration Period) of Germanic peoples, Celtic culture and Insular Celtic had become restricted to Ireland and to the western and northern parts of Great Britain (Wales, Scotland, Cornwall and the Isle of Man) and northern France (Brittany). Between the fifth and eighth centuries AD the Celtic-speaking communities of the Atlantic regions had emerged as a reasonably cohesive cultural entity. In language, religion, and art they shared a common heritage that distinguished them from the culture of surrounding polities.The Continental Celtic languages ceased to be widely used by the 6th century.

Insular Celtic culture diversified into that of the Gaels (Irish, Scottish and Manx), the Brythonic Celts (Welsh, Cornish, and Bretons) of the medieval and modern periods. A modern "Celtic identity" was constructed in the context of the Romanticist Celtic Revival in Great Britain (Wales, Scotland, Cornwall and the Isle of Man) and Ireland. In France a similar revival of Breton is taking place in Brittany.


The Celtic languages form a branch of the larger Indo-European family.


By the time speakers of Celtic languages enter history around 400 BC (Brennus's attack on Rome in 387 BC), they were already split into several language groups, and spread over much of Central Europe, the Iberian peninsula, Ireland and Britain. Some scholars think that the Urnfield culture of northern Germany and the Netherlands represents an origin for the Celts as a distinct cultural branch of the Indo-European family. This culture was preeminent in central Europe during the late Bronze Age, from ca. 1200 BC until 700 BC, itself following the Unetice and Tumulus cultures.

Because of the scarcity of surviving materials bearing written Gaulish, it is surmised that the pagan Celts were not widely literate, although a written form of Gaulish using the Greek, Latin and North Italic alphabets was used (as evidenced by votive items bearing inscriptions in Gaulish and the Coligny Calendar). Julius Caesar attests to the literacy of the Gauls, but also wrote that their priests, the druids, were forbidden to use writing to record certain verses of religious significance

The historical Celts were a diverse group of tribal societies in Iron Age Europe.


 In the secular world of Celtic chiefs and warriors, dragons are merely symbols of the power of the chief. Indeed the Celtic word for "chief" is Pendragon.

Pendragon or Pen Draig, meaning "head dragon" or "chief dragon" (a figurative title referring to status as a leader), is the name of several traditional Kings of the Britons:

The modern Celtic traditionalists follow the old religion of the Celts. Much of what is known was transmitted through oral cultural traditions. Druids, the keepers of tradition, preferred the oral to the written word for passing on religious matters. Among the Celts, the Druids were the judges and intermediaries with the Gods. Except for the Chiefs of the Celts, everyone else was considered to be near slaves.

At first glance, the Celtic religion seems to be a nature religion. The Celts followed the Wheel of Seasons in their rituals. The most important days were Beltane (May 1), the beginning of the light half of the year, and Samhain, (November 1), the beginning of the dark half of the year. Their alphabet was derived from the leafing of trees during the seasons. Meanwhile, animals tied to wisdom, such as Salmon who ate from the Hazel nut tree, were sacred.

However, upon further investigation, the Celtic religion has a deeper theology. Druids taught that the soul is immortal and passes from one body to another. Since humans and peoples of the Otherworlds (Fae, Sidh) can intermingle easily, the soul could pass between worlds. The Druids called this passing of the soul: tuirigini,“the circuit of births”.

The Soul’s Journey is represented by the Triple Spiral. The First Spiral is the first exposure to wisdom. The Soul is guided by the Keepers of the Traditions. The Second Spiral concerns the implementation of wisdom. The Empowers of the Laws of Life guide the Soul. The Third Spiral is the maturing of wisdom, where the Otherworldly Guardians guide the Soul. The Soul would learn the Seven Candles of Life: Will, Truth, Growth, Harmony, Lore, Devotion, and Energy.


The Celtic Sea is an area of the Atlantic Ocean, generally located to the south of Ireland. It's bordered in the northeast by St. George's Channel, and in the east by the Bristol Channel, and English Channel. The region's Celtic heritage gave the sea its name, one suggested in 1921 by E. W. L. Holt. This somewhat generic name helps avoid any nationalistic controversies between countries. The southern and western boundaries are not clearly defined as varied sources extend the sea to different distances into the Atlantic Ocean. Therefore, representing its exact size on a map is based on where the sea actually ends, so maps are estimates, at best, and ours is the same.




During the later Iron Age the Gauls generally wore long-sleeved shirts or tunics and long trousers (called braccae by the Romans). Clothes were made of wool or linen, with some silk being used by the rich. Cloaks were worn in winter. Brooches and armlets were used but the most famous item of jewellery was the torc, a rigid piece of adornment made from twisted metal.




Principal sites in Roman Britain, with indication of the Celtic tribes. Tribal warfare appears to have been a regular feature of Celtic societies. While epic literature depicts this as more of a sport focused on raids and hunting rather than organised territorial conquest, the historical record is more of tribes using warfare to exert political control and harass rivals, for economic advantage, and in some instances to conquer territory.
The Celts were described by classical writers such as Stabo, Livy, Pausanias, nad Florusas fighting like "wild beasts", and as hordes. Dionysius said that their "manner of fighting, being in large measure that of wild beasts and frenzied, was an erratic procedure, quite lacking in military science. Thus, at one moment they would raise their swords aloft and smite after the manner of wild boars, throwing the whole weight of their bodies into the blow like hewers of wood or men digging with mattocks, and again they would deliver crosswise blows aimed at no target, as if they intended to cut to pieces the entire bodies of their adversaries, protective armour and all". Such descriptions have been challenged by contemporary historians.

Julius Caesar wrote of the naked British Celtic warriors that "all Britons paint themselves with woad, which turns the skin a bluish-green colour; hence their appearance is all the more horrific in battle. They grow their hair long, and shave every part of their body except the top of the head and the upper lip." He also describes their skill with chariots... "'This is their method of chariot-warfare. First they drive their horses all over the place, throw weapons, and by means of sheer fear of the horses and the noise of the wheels create confusion in the ranks. Then, when they have broken through the troops of the cavalry, they jump down from their chariots and do battle on foot..."



Some tattoos are specific to only some parts of the body, but there is no limitation to butterfly tattoo designs. You can have them on your abdomen, lower back, chest, foot and anywhere. Coming to its significance, butterfly tattoo designs convey a lot of meanings. Their meanings vary from place to place, person to person and culture to culture. However, the main theme of butterfly tattoo designs is rebirth and transformation and is considered to be a symbol of freedom.
There are many versions of butterfly tattoo designs. Out of them flower butterfly tattoos, tribal butterfly tattoos and celtic butterfly tattoos are the most popular ones. Butterfly tattoos are mixed with tribal designs so as to pierce them on lower back. Celtic designs are incorporated in butterfly tattoos for maximum impact. Flowers designs add feminine statement to the butterfly tattoos.


Celtic Gods and Goddesses 


Abandinus, possibly a river-god
Abellio (Abelio, Abelionni), god of apple trees
Alaunus (Fin), sun god
Alisanos (Alisaunus)
Ambisagrus, a god of thunder and lightning
Anextiomarus (Anextlomarus, Anextlomara), a sun god
Atepomarus, a sun god
Arvernus, a tribal god
Arausio, a god of water
Barinthus (Manannán mac Lir), a god of the sea and water
Belatu-Cadros (Belatucadros, Belatucadrus,
Balatocadrus, Balatucadrus, Balaticaurus,
Balatucairus, Baliticaurus, Belatucairus,
Belatugagus, Belleticaurus, Blatucadrus,
and Blatucairus), a god of war
Belenus (Belinus, Belenos, Belinos, Belinu, Belanu, Bellinus, Belus, Bel), a sun god.
Borvo (Bormo, Bormanus), a god of mineral and hot springs
Buxenus, a god of box trees
Camulos (Camulus, Camulos), a god of war
Cernunnos, a horned god
Cissonius (Cisonius, Cesonius), a god of trade
Cocidius, a god of war
Condatis, a god of the confluences of rivers
Contrebi (Contrebis, Contrebus), a god of a city
Dii Casses
Dis Pater (Dispater), a god of the underworld
Esus (Hesus)
Fagus, a god of beech trees
Genii Cucullati, Hooded Spirits
Grannos, a god of healing and mineral springs
Icaunus, a god of a river
Iovantucarus, a protector of youth
Lenus, a healing god
Leucetios (Leucetius), a god of thunder
Lugus, creation and learning
Luxovius (Luxovius), a god of a city's water

Maponos (Maponus), a god of youth
Mogons (Moguns)
Moritasgus, a sun god
Nemausus, a god worshipped at Nîmes
Nodens (Nudens, Nodons), a god of healing, the sea, hunting and dogs
Robur, a god of oak trees
Rudianos, a god of war
Segomo, a god of war
Smertrios (Smertios, Smertrius), a god of war
Sucellos (Sucellus, Sucellos), a god of love and time
Taranis, a god of thunder
Toutatis (Caturix, Teutates), a tribal god
Veteris (Vitiris, Vheteris, Huetiris, Hueteris)
Virotutis, a sun god
Vindonnus, a sun god
Vosegus, a god of the Vosges      

Abnoba, a goddess of rivers and forests
Adsullata, goddess of the River Savus
Agrona, a goddess of war
Ancamna, a water goddess
Andarta, a goddess of war
Andraste, goddess of victory
Arduinna, goddess of the Ardennes Forest
Arnemetia, a water goddess
Artio, goddess of the bear
Aveta, a mother goddess, associated with the fresh-water spring at Trier in what is now Germany
Belisama, lakes and rivers, fire, crafts and light, consort of Belenus
Britannia, originally a personification of the island, later made into a goddess

Clota, patron goddess of the River Clyde
Coventina, goddess of wells and springs
Damara, a fertility goddess
Damona, consort of Apollo Borvo and of Apollo Moritasgus
Dea Matrona, "divine mother goddess" and goddess of the river Marne in Gaul
Dea Sequana, goddess of the river Seine
Debranua, a goddess of speed and fat
Epona, fertility goddess, protector of horses, donkeys, and mules
Erecura, earth goddess
Icovellauna, a water goddess
Litavis Mairiae

Nantosuelta, goddess of nature, the earth, fire, and fertility in Gaul
Ritona (Pritona), goddess of fords
Rosmerta, goddess of fertility and abundance
Sabrina, goddess of the River Severn
Sequana, goddess of the river Seine
Sirona, goddess of healing
Suleviae, a triune version of Sulis
Sulis, a nourishing, life-giving mother goddess and an agent of curses
Tamesis, goddess of the River Thames
Verbeia, goddess of the River Wharfe

                                                    Celtic Mythology

The religious beliefs and practices of the ancient Celts, an ancient Indo-European people. In the 4th century BCE their influence and territories covered the length of Europe, stretching from Britain to Asia Minor. Celtic mythology consists of three groups:
1.     The Goidelic, including Ireland, the Isle of Man, and the western highlands of Scotland. In language, race, and tradition these form a homogenous block;
2.     The Insular Brythonic, including Wales and Cornwall, also inhabited by kindred people with a somewhat similar history;
3.     The Continental Brythonic, that is, Brittany. Though racially akin to the Welsh and Cornish, the Bretons have had a very differently history and enjoy a distinct culture.


Celtic Myths and Legends        Welsh Mythology and Folklore in Popular Culture

The Celts were one of the great founding civilizations of Europe and the first North European people to emerge into recorded history, producing a vibrant labyrinth of mythological tales and sagas that have influenced the literary traditions of Europe and the world.
The first A-Z reference of its kind, Dictionary of Celtic Mythology is fascinating and accessible guide to the gods and goddesses, the heroes and heroines, the magical weapons, fabulous beasts, and otherworld entities that populate the myths of this rich European culture. Like A Dictionary of Irish Mythology before it, this is a who's who and what's what of the epic Celtic sagas and tales. Predated only by Greek and Latin by virtue of the fact that the Celtic languages were not written until the early Christian era, Celtic mythology is a development from a far earlier oral tradition containing voices from the dawn of European civilization. The peoples of these Celtic cultures survive today on the western seaboard of Europe--the Irish, Manx, and Scots, who make up the Goidelic- (or Gaelic) speaking branch of Celts, and the Welsh, Cornish, and Brentons, who represent the Brythonic-speaking branch. And it is in these languages that their vibrant and fascinating mythology has been recorded and appreciated throughout the world. In his introduction, Ellis discusses the roles of these six cultures, the evolution (or demise) of the languages, and the relationship between the legends, especially the Irish and Welsh, the two major Celtic cultures. From Celtic legends have come not only the stories of Cuchulainn and Fionn MacCumhail, of Deidre of the Sorrows and the capricious Grainne, but the stories of the now world-famous Arthur, and the romantic tragedy of Tristan and Iseult

Dictionary of Celtic Mythology